David Scarbrough is proof that the experiences we accumulate along life’s journey often prove their worth when you need them the most.
Scarbrough became a small-business owner on Aug. 22 when he opened the doors to Experimac – West Houston, a one-of-a-kind retail storefront concept that specializes in sales of pre-owned Apple® computers, devices and much more. Experimac- West Houston is located at 9930 Katy Freeway.
This isn’t Scarbrough’s first foray into small-business ownership. Prior to 2000, Scarbrough led a small photography and graphic design business in Houston called Design, Ltd. His work was featured in USA Today, Time and Newsweek, as well as the Houston Post and Houston Chronicle. He also did assignment photography work for the Associated Press, covering everything from the Waco Siege and the Houston Rockets’ championship seasons to the 1990 G7 Economic Summit and 1992 Republican National Convention.
In 1999, a short-term assignment as a web developer with a Fortune 500 company in Houston led to full-time job offer and subsequent 16-year career as a senior IT manager. However, last November, Scarbrough’s position became one of the almost 100,000 jobs lost in the oil industry in Texas since prices plummeted two years ago.
“I’m 57 years old,” Scarbrough said. “I was without many options, so I decided to open a small business.”
Though he didn’t realize it at the time, Scarbrough’s background proved a perfect fit for an Experimac franchisee. A devoted Apple® user – he boasts that between his wife and 16-year-old son they have three of almost every Apple® product – Scarbrough has the perfect blend of technical and creative experience to serve the needs of customers.
Experimac not only specializes in the sale of pre-owned Apple® computers and devices, but also offers repair of laptops, phones and tablets; trade-ins of existing devices; software and system updates; and sales of accessories.
“I see a lot of potential for this sector of the Apple® market that is underserved at the moment,” Scarbrough said. “I like the idea of giving people a robust, safe alternative aside from eBay and Craiglist for buying and selling pre-owned Apple® products.”
Since Experimac specializes in selling pre-owned products, Apple® products, the products can be sold at a price point that is accessible to a much-wider range of customers. When customers enter competing retail stores that sell new computers, smartphones and tech equipment, only one out of every 100 or so people actually purchase something because of the high price point, but they are much more likely to buy at Experimac.
Experimac customers typically enjoy average savings of 60 percent on pre-owned Apple® products over big-box retailers. And Experimac takes the risk out of purchasing pre-owned equipment with a 90-day guarantee. If something breaks, Experimac will repair or replace the defective part at no cost.
“We have a customer who came in with a broken laptop and she was going to buy a new computer,” Scarbrough said. “I showed her how a 2011 MacBook Pro® could be customized to perform as good or better than a new one at a significantly lower price. She was hesitant, but saw the value proposition and performance benefits. She bought it and could not be happier.”
Though he has been a new business owner for less than three months, Scarbrough is already looking ahead, saying he’d like to have three to four Experimac locations open within three years.
“I believe the economic climate is good for our business sector,” Scarbrough said. “We can get people into quality computers at a lower cost than new and we can also extend the life of their current computers with upgrades such as SSD drives and RAM upgrades. I also have a special place in my heart for the creative community – photographers, designers, musicians and other creative types – they love Apple® and need a reliable source for products and support.”